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Former FNB boss and South African venture capitalist Michael Jordaan has announced an investment into a local “farm-to-door” wine startup, called Port2Port. Figures on the investment, which has been done through Jordaan’s VC firm Montegray Capital, are undisclosed.
Serving as trustee for the Cape Wine Auction and co-owner of Stellenbosch-based wine farm Bartinney, Jordaan is a well-known wine aficionado. Among his many investments made over the years, Jordaan was also an early backer of the social app Realtime Wine, which closed down in April last year.
Jordaan tells Ventureburn via email that it’s Port2Port’s entrepreneurial team — co-founders Nicolò Pudel and Vincent Buhrer — that attracted him most to the niche ecommerce startup:
They are very passionate and knowledgeable about wine, but also truly professional about creating an unexpectedly delightful customer experience which is arguably the most important way to differentiate a startup in the battlefield of ecommerce.
The investor further hails the startup’s customer service, sought-after range of premium products, great packaging and fast delivery.
Queried about what the capital will be used for, the venture capitalist explains that the funds will largely help accelerate the company’s growth through targeted marketing. Jordaan calls this stage the “sweet spot” for venture capital deals, when market traction is obvious and funds are leveraged for growth rather than to prove an idea.
Port2Port includes a wide selection of wines, from sub-R200 Pinot Noirs to collectible Magnums in signed wooden boxes worth R7 500.
Officially launched in January 2015, Buhrer tells Ventureburn that the Port2Port platform was born out of a close relationship with its sister digital agency called Pier2Pier.
He adds that they are “truly thrilled” and “encouraged” to have Jordaan’s expertise on board:
We believe that the experience and mentorship of Michael Jordaan will be of great value to the company, which is obviously rendered much easier through a shared passion for the products we list and plan to list.
Port2Port’s vision, Jordaan adds, extends beyond wine though, into a broader range of consumable luxury goods.
Update: The article has been updated to include quotes from Port2Port co-founder Vincent Buhrer.